Monkfish and mussels with a tomato and lemon sauce

January was a month for trying to eat a little healthier and lighter. Less meat, some fish and more veggies and pulses. This didn’t mean boring meals though and we finished off the month with a little luxury, treating ourselves to some monkfish. It is an expensive fish compared to others, but a little goes quite a long way and portions of about 150g per person  (even us who are greedy guts!) is about fine. Especially if you add a  handful of prawns or mussels and serve with rice or potatoes and the last of your summer runner beans from the freezer.


Ingredients (to serve 4)

  • 4 fillets or steaks of monkfish
  • About 200g fresh mussels, cleaned
  • About 400ml of homemade tomato sauce or make up a simple sauce by sautéing one finely chopped onion in a little olive oil until transparent, then add 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic. Fry gently for a few minutes then add a tin of chopped tomatoes, 2 tbsp tomato purée, a good slosh of red wine, seasoning and a sprig of basil. Cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, removing the basil before using.
  • Some seasoned plain flour for dusting the fish
  • The grated zest of an unwaxed lemon
  • Some finely chopped flat leaf parsley and lemon wedges to serve

Start by coating the fish in seasoned flour and shallow fry on both sides until lightly browned. Remove from the pan to a plate and cover with foil.

Warm the tomato sauce and add the lemon zest and fish to it,  cooking gently for about 2 or 3 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over, add the mussels to the pan and cover with a lid. Cook for a further couple of minutes by which time the fish will be cooked through and the mussels will have opened. Discard any which refuse to open, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with the lemon wedges.


We enjoyed a lovely bottle of sauvignon blanc bought on our recent jaunt to Le Touquet..a perfect end to the month!

If you enjoy monkfish, you might like this beautiful, delicate, monkfish curry.


32 thoughts on “Monkfish and mussels with a tomato and lemon sauce

  1. That looks delicious – I might do the same myself, as I’ve got a piece of monkish in the freezer. The price here seems to be excessive to me – in the Boqueria monkfish and hake are often priced at about €8.99 a kilo, whereas hake is by far the cheaper fish in London.

    1. I saw a programme fairly recently that talked about how unappreciated hake is in the UK and how most of what is fished here is exported to Spain where it is highly prized (as we know! )

      1. I know – it makes no sense at all. Personally I think it’s nicer than fresh cod, though bacalao is a different kettle of fish.

      2. Agree completely! Our fishmonger here in Bexhill sells Portuguese bacalao. Quite expensive but very good. They say the Portuguese have 365 ways to cook it (and we’ve eaten quite a few very good bacalao dishes in Portugal! ) one for each day of the year 😀

      3. I bet the Basques do to – I believe there is a certain amount of rivalry between them on that score. I’d be interested to know if the Portuguese still salt and dry their own bacalao – I think all the Spanish stuff comes from Iceland, Norway and Newfoundland now. Like the Basques, they used to catch it off the Grand Banks, which have been fished out now.

      4. I love that you know all this…am always learning from you! Now I fancy brandada and am remembering that I de salted and flaked some bacalao before Christmas to make some but didn’t get round to it and now it’s in my freezer waiting for its moment!

      5. I’ve got some in the freezer too – I was going to make bacalao a la llauna for the blog. I can’t wait to try the croquetas on Tuesday and I think the might do pulpo à feria too!

  2. Lady, I just want to give any suggestion that the scallops and shrimp are very high cholesterol content, I hope you do not eat too much, thank you very much

    1. Sorry Ummi – Ingested cholesterol does little harm – that which the liver produces from saturated fats eaten is the troublemaker: and yes I am a medico!. Moderate amounts of beautiful seafood does a lot more good than harm! Enjoy yourself!!!

  3. Now this is pure pleasure! I am lucky to live in France where monkfish isn´t as pricy as it is in my home of Germany, so I am actually making it quite often – your recipe with a “seafood potpourri” to come with it is another version I´ll happily try!

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